Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, spoke out against the dark events of August 5, 2019, when the Indian government, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, abrogated Article 370 and Article 35A, paving the way for the controversial Domicile Law. Fai called this a modern form of settler colonialism, challenging India's portrayal as the "largest democracy." He cited international media sources that characterized Modi's India as a place where democracy is dwindling, and he underscored the global recognition of the severe human rights issues faced by Kashmiris.
In an interesting turn of events, India's attempt to showcase normalcy in Kashmir by hosting a G20 tourism meeting was met with a significant diplomatic snub. Key nations, including China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Egypt, boycotted the event, sending a clear message against Indian actions in the region.
Dr. Imtiaz Khan, a professor at George Washington University Medical Center, highlighted the escalating human rights abuses in Indian occupied Kashmir, including youth killings and atrocities against women. He exposed India's policy of altering the demographic makeup of the region, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.
Speakers also shed light on the historic role of leadership, both within and beyond the Kashmiri community, in advocating for Kashmir's right to self-determination. The rally expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir, demanding an end to their suffering and highlighting the significance of collective efforts to bring attention to the longstanding issue.
As the sun set over Times Square, the voices of solidarity for Kashmir echoed through the heart of New York City, leaving an indelible mark on the bustling crossroads of the world.